Tour de Force | The Top 10 BEST Big Sports Tourers and GTs of 2023 [800cc +]

Can the Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello and Energica Experia make an impression in Visordown's Top 10 BEST Big Sports Tourers & GTs of 2023 rundown?

Energica Experia on mountain road. - Energica

While Adventure motorcycles have one primary selling point that defines them as off-roading, rock crunching Adventure motorcycles, one size or shape doesn't quite fit all in what is as of 2023, a decidedly diverse Sports Tourer segment. 

Indeed, what defines a Sports Tourer remains open to some debate with a split between models that emphasise the 'Sports' part of the name and others that are straight-up 'Tourers', while there are those that veer off into a more dynamic GT (Grand Tourer) direction.

What hasn't changed, however, are the fundamentals of what makes a Sports Tourer or GT great, with comfort, practicality, refinement and tech smarts majoring over the design, performance and sportiness generally (if not always exclusively). 

It's a segment that is also growing with several of our existing favourites - the Yamaha Tracer 9 GT and BMW R 1250 RS - undergoing updates for 2023, while there are brand-new options in the shape of the intriguing electric Energica Experia and the desirable new GT-style Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello.

But can they make a case - or should that be 'pannier' - as a competitive alternative to the Best Big Sports Tourers [800cc and up] right now...? Pack your bags, we're off on a journey...

Top 10 Sports Tourer & GT Motorcycles of 2022 [800cc +]

Here are the Top 10 BEST Big Sports Tourers of 2022...

10. Energica Experia

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.

Energica has a habit of challenging perceptions when it comes to conceiving its electric motorcycles, but its latest creation, the Energica Experia, is definitely its most ambitious attempt to change public opinion.

Indeed, with many a dismissive argument against electric power regularly uttering the lines 'it won't go as far' or 'the battery will die before I find a recharge station', credit to Energica for not shying away and diving wheels-first into the Sports Tourer category.

If Energica has set out primarily to correct those widely-held beliefs, then it has succeeded in developing a motorcycle that will genuinely surprise many. Indeed, the Experia is well-built, comfortable, refined and practical, while the boon of instant linear torque is a novelty that lingers too.

In terms of range, Energica touts impressive figures, claiming the Experia can go upwards of 260 miles on a single full charge, though the combined figure lurks around 160 miles. To put into perspective, the Triumph Tiger 900 GT gets around 230 miles from a tank of fuel, while the Yamaha Tracer 9 GT can reach around 220 miles.

The big question mark remains the price though with the Energica Experia starting at £25,990 - that's £9k more than a Ducati Multistrada V4. Of course, you'll recoup savings if you do the miles, just make sure your sums add up.

Visordown REVIEW | Energica Experia [2022]

9. Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.
£13,5001042cc115bhp105Nm @6,750rpm233kg815mm17 L

While it is perhaps still best-known for its desirable retro-flavoured models and Americano-themed cruisers, historic Italian marque Moto Guzzi has been steadily revealing a more contemporary vision for its future in recent years, starting with the V85 TT and now this, the Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello.

All-new from the ground-up, the V100 Mandello is a something of an exotic curio in this company by presenting itself as a Grand Tourer, albeit one with just a splash of sportsbike spice. Making a strong first impression with its understatedly attractive looks, the V100 Mandello carries that elegance and poise onto the road, while the new 1042cc V-Twin has enough of a rumbling note to do something most Sports Tourers don't; stir the soul.

On the flip-side, the Mandello isn't a 'out and out' Tourer, so if practicality and versatility are top of your needs, look elsewhere, but if you're after a sophisticated 'Sports... Tourer' so to speak, then the Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello will prove very seductive.

Visordown REVIEW | Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello [2023]

8. Honda NT 1100

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.
£12,4991084cc101bhp104Nm @6,250rpm238kg820mm20 L

One of the most significant new Sports Tourer launches in recent times, the Honda NT 1100 represents Japanese behemoth's return to the segment. 

Any all-new Honda is a big deal and when it comes to ticking boxes for the every day rider, the NT 1100 is easily capable of meeting the needs of most; it is comfortable to ride, feels well put together and is choc full of clever touches to make notching up the miles fuss-free. In a way, it's probably the ideal Sports Tourer if you want a motorcycle that does exactly what it says on a Honda-branded tin.

However, among similarly accomplished competition, the Honda NT 1100 rather blends into the background, or to put another way, it is rather bland. The hyped up X-ADV-inspired looks are a mis-step in our view in that it devalues both models, the 1100cc engine is big but not terribly powerful and getting on it doesn't exactly stir the soul.

The motorcycle for motorcyclists more enamoured with wanting a Honda-badged Tourer, rather than the best Sports Tourer you can buy.

Visordown REVIEW | Honda NT 1100 [2022]

7. BMW R 1250 RS

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.
£13,1401254cc136bhp143Nm @6,250rpm243kg820mm18 L

A BMW boxer sports tourer called the RS? What is this, 1976? Well, no, actually, although the latest version of the German firm’s revived RS sports tourer shares the name of the classic ‘70s poster bike, everything else is bang up to date – and as a Sports Tourer it all gels and works better than ever.

The BMW R 1250 RS was first revived in 1200cc form in 2015 as a half-faired R1200R roadster and while that may not sound very exciting it blended 125bhp with sweet handling, a spot-on blend of sports agility and touring comfort.

The uprated  ‘ShiftCam’ version, as introduced in 2019, is significantly better still, while the boxer engine is both meaty yet slim and beautifully balanced; with 135bhp it’s now got significantly improved ‘go’... If only it had a touch more excitement.

A smattering of updates for 2023 have given the BMW R 1250 RS a fresher lease of life, with modifications that include Dynamic Traction Control, a new ECO mode and new LED headlight.

6. Suzuki GSX-S1000 GT

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.
£12,499999cc152bhp106Nm @9,250rpm226kg835mm19 L

Compared with the Honda NT 1100, which was launched around the same time, we didn't expect the Suzuki GSX-S1000 GT to be the one to leave more of a lasting impression..

Indeed, while the NT 1100 is new from the ground up, the GSX-S1000 GT is by comparison renamed and overhauled reboot of the GSX-S1000 F. However, while the 'F' didn't quite fit into Touring mould by leaning fairly heavily on the GSX-R1000 sportsbike it was derived from, the latest generation now sits neatly in the GT corner of the Sports Tourer class... and it's all the better for it.

A well-judged contemporary makeover gives the GSX-S1000 GT a more striking - if Yamaha-esque - appearance, while the re-profiling ensures greater versatility for both the rider and their luggage. While changes under the skin aren't as extensive, the GSX-S1000 platform was already a punchy, no-nonsense performer, so this is no bad thing.

Suzuki might claim the GT to be significantly different from the F, but by simply shoring up its erstwhile drawbacks while bolstering the (many) good bits, the GSX-S1000 GT shows why upgrading is sometimes preferable to replacing.

Visordown REVIEW | Suzuki GSX-S1000 GT [2022]

5. KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.
£18,7991301cc173bhp141Nm @7,000rpm223kg835mm23 L

Did somebody mention excitement? Let me introduce, the latest ballistic missile from KTM... arguably the Sportiest Tourer of all, the KTM Super Duke GT.

It’s the bike that arguably does everything you could want of a Sports Tourer – comfort, range, sophistication, engaging handling – yet adds blistering 173bhp and will turn more heads than its contemporaries. 

Trading the 1290 Super Duke R's raucous attitude for a more refined, characterful personality, the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT brims with gadgets and gizmos, including its new-for-2023 7" TFT display with turn-by-turn navigation.

Under the skin, the 1290 Super Duke GT rides on premium and adjustable WP Apex forks, while its 23-litre fuel tank and ample luggage options will appeal among those who spend their summers on tour.

A touch more extreme than other large capacity GTs in its segment, what the Super Duke GT loses in refinement, it gains by making the journey - however long - just that bit more fun.

4. Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.
£13,895888cc94bhp87Nm @7,250rpm210kg820-840mm20 L

Much like the MT-09 and the Street Triple lock horns in the naked class, the Yamaha Tracer 9 GT and Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro find one another fighting over the same piece of Tarmac in the Sports Tourer category.

Different to the Tracer 9 in that this is adapted from the more adventure-orientated underpinnings of the Tiger 900 Rally, the GT Pro nonetheless holds its own on the smoother stuff with the brisk triple-cylinder engine delivering 93bhp, plus 10% more peak torque than the model it replaces, together with 87Nm (64ft-Ibs) of torque at 7,250rpm.

What it loses in go-anywhere ability - without trading it in entirely - the Tiger 900 GT Pro gains in soaking up the miles with aplomb with new features that include electric rear suspension for the GT Pro, as well as Triumph’s much improved 5-inch TFT dash. 

If at £13,895 it is on the pricier end of the scale, then the softer, lighter Triumph Tiger 850 Sport ticks many of the same boxes but does it at little more than £9,000, or the standard GT, priced at £12,195.

Visordown REVIEW | Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro [2020]

3. Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX Performance

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.
£12,3491043cc140bhp111Nm @8,000rpm235kg835mm19 L

One of the triumphs of modern motorcycling yet one which came from humble beginnings, the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX ranked as our favourite Big Sports Tourers of 2020... and three years on it remains a recommended choice.

Originally launched in 2010 as a half-faired, sports-tourer version of Kawasaki’s Z1000 super naked, the SX proved an immediate hit due its mix of 140bhp, decent handling, faired practicality and, more than anything, its original sub-£10K value – all of which was sufficient to make it a Kawasaki best seller. 

Repeatedly updated since in 2014 (new brakes, suspension, styling, extra electronics and optional integrated panniers); 2017 (further chassis/electronics updates) and now again for 2020 (renamed as the Ninja 1000 SX, sharper steering, new TFT dash, cruise control and quickshifter), it’s simply got better every time yet remains as good value as ever. 

If you want Japanese four-cylinder 140mph performance, semi-sports handling yet bags of practicality and features at a bargain price, it’s still a very accomplished choice.

Visordown REVIEW | Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX [2020]

2. Yamaha Tracer 9 GT

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.
£13,100890cc117bhp93Nm @7,000rpm220kg810-825mm19 L

We always had high hopes for the new Yamaha Tracer 9 GT. Not only was it supposedly going to be an improvement on the outgoing but still well-liked Tracer 900, but the excellent all-round abilities of the smaller Tracer 7 suggested its bigger brother would be just that bit more practical, more powerful and more refined too.

And so it has proven, the Yamaha Tracer 9 GT proving a true bike for all seasons that carries on the excellent traits of the also recently-launched MT-09, where the softer dynamics don't harm the handling and the larger 889cc triple-cylinder engine refuses to get too flustered while delivering a tuneful wisp at the same time.

The styling remains handsome as ever with perhaps the least controversial product of Yamaha's recent more outgoing - but divisive - efforts.

In GT spec, designed for longer days out on the road, the semi-active suspension is a boon, while the clear dashboard, heated grips, cruise control and quickshifter continue to make journeys as easy as they can be fun.

Yamaha isn't resting on its laurels either with the firm adding a new flagship Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ variant to the range for 2023. Dubbing it the 'most technologically advanced Yamaha yet', the Tracer 9 GT+ brings radar-guided Assisted Cruise Control to the class, Unified Braking System to improve braking stability and a new TFT display.

Visordown REVIEW | Yamaha Tracer 9 GT [2021]

1. Ducati Multistrada V4

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.
£16,9951158cc170bhp125Nm @8,750rpm240kg810-875mm22 L

Ducati’s flagship Swiss army knife of a motorcycle - the Ducati Multistrada V4 - proves it is Master Jack of all trades, deftly combining the strengths of being the Sportiest of Tourers, a tech-assisted doddle of a GT and even offers some decent dirt dwelling adventure abilities at the weekend.

Approach this from the angle of seeking an Adventure motorcycle then you might miss the point, but if you’re in the market for a Grand Sports Tourer that just happens to get its boots muddy, the Multistrada V4 ticks more boxes than you’ll probably need.

At its heart is the firm’s now well established V4 architecture from the Panigale generating a brisk 170bhp and it is an excellent companion for the spirited chassis which is only too eager to show off that Ducati sporting DNA coursing through its pipes and does a better job of mimicking its sportsbike brother than you’d probably expect.

Ducati hasn’t just relied on its brand values to make the Multistrada V4 such a triumph either. It was the first mass market model to use radar assisted cruise control, while Ducati is staking its reputation on resolving the patchy reliability of previous generations by offering above average 9,000 mile service intervals.

Moreover, the Multistrada family has been growing steadily since the V4 hit the road in 2021 with a sportier Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak version and - new for 2023 - the Multistrada V4 Rally, a proper Adventure off-road variant

It’s not cheap at a base price of £16,995 but if you can stretch to it, then it’s the best you can buy… and you know what, you deserve the best!

Visordown REVIEW | Ducati Multistrada V4 S [2021]


*prices correct at the time of publication [March 2023]

 Top 10 Big Sports Tourers of 2023 [800cc-plus] | Key Specifications and Technical Details Comparison

 PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.
10Energica Experia£25,99022.5kWh101bhp115Nm260kg847mmN/A
9Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello£13,5001042cc115bhp105Nm @6,750rpm233kg815mm17 L
8Honda NT 1100£12,4991084cc101bhp104Nm @6,250rpm238kg820mm20 L
7BMW R 1250 RS£13,1401254cc136bhp143Nm @6,250rpm243kg820mm18 L
6Suzuki GSX-S1000 GT£12,499999cc152bhp106Nm @9,250rpm226kg835mm19 L
5KTM 1290 Super Duke GT£19,7991301cc173bhp141Nm @7,000rpm223kg835mm23 L
4Triumph Tiger 900 GT£12,195888cc94bhp87Nm @7,250rpm210kg820-840mm20 L
3Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX£12,3491043cc140bhp111Nm @8,000rpm235kg835mm19 L
2Yamaha Tracer 9 GT£13,100890cc117bhp93Nm @7,000rpm220kg810-825mm19 L
1Ducati Multistrada V4£16,9951158cc170bhp125Nm @8,750rpm240kg810-875mm22 L